If you write a paper on teaching/learning foreign languages, sometimes it is desirable to find an appropriate synonym that fits the context best and corresponds well to the given context. Below are the forms which are synonymous to “mother tongue”:
- native language
- native tongue
- first language
- father tongue
- arterial language
- L1 (the use of this term is mostly restricted to [second] language acquisition studies)
This post can be of help to researchers who focus on [second] language acquisition and pedagogy, to journalists writing about this field, and to students who learn English and want to enrich their vocabulary.